In our music category, we explore the various forms of music which are available to our children, not only in terms of what they can listen to, but also in terms of technology which allows our kids to create music. Our bias is that no genre or style of music is bad in itself (although there are certainly genres which we don't prefer ourselves!), but that sex, violence, and hate in lyrics is unhealthy for our children.

Sun 14 Jan 2007

Disney Mix Sticks

Disney Mix Stick

A few weeks ago, my daughter came home with a Disney Mix Stick, a small MP3 player for tweens.

At first, I wanted to tell her that she should have asked me before she spent her Christmas money on an MP3 player (thinking she would have done better if she had saved enough money for an iPod shuffle or an iPod nano). But the more I’ve thought about it, I’m not quite as disdainful of the product as I was originally.

She paid about $50 for the Disney Mix Stick and another $18 dollars for a mix clip (a sort of music cartridge that fits in the Mix Stick). It plays either from a mix clip or you can download music in either WMA or MP3 format. Beyond the mix clip, it will hold up to 60 songs in WMA format or up to 30 songs in MP3 format in its 128MB onboard memory (expandable up to 1GB). The Mix Stick comes in a variety of models (although the specifications are the same for each - the different models simply represent different “skins” for the unit): Little Mermaid, Tink, High School Musical, Mickey, Princess, Cars, Jack Skellington, and Pirates. Each model comes with stereo earbuds, a lanyard, and a Windows Media software CD. One of the cooler features is that the bottom of the unit slips off to reveal a USB connector that can be plugged directly into the USB port of a computer (either for recharging the unit or to download music files to the unit).

While it’s not the most sophisticated MP3 player on the market, it serves as a nice introduction to digital music for my daughter and since it carries the Disney brand, it has some amount of familiarity for her.

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